OIG Says CFPB Isn’t Following Its Own Examination Guidelines

Posted by Patrick Barnard on April 04, 2014 No Comments
Categories : Required Reading

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) needs to improve the efficiency of its program for supervision of banks and non-banks, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) says in a recent report.

Specifically, the CFPB needs to ‘improve its reporting timeliness and reduce the number of examination reports that have not been issued; adhere to its unequivocal standards concerning the use of standard compliance rating definitions; and update its policies and procedures to reflect current practices,’ the OIG report states.

‘While we recognize the considerable efforts associated with the initial development and implementation of the program, we believe that the CFPB can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its supervisory activities,’ the inspector general wrote.

Apparently the OIG's recent audit of the CFPB's supervisory activities was in part prompted by a series of complaints by the banks the CFPB supervises. Specifically, the banks complained that the CFPB examination process is too slow and the CFPB isn't adhering to its own mandated 110-day timeline for completing reports.

According to the OIG's report, about 59% of the CFPB's reports are not submitted to superiors by the examiners within 30 days of completing fieldwork, as required by the CFPB timeline. Also, a majority of exam reports aren't being approved at the CFPB's central office within the mandated 30 days.

The OIG offers 12 recommendations to help the CFPB strengthen its supervision program, including creating and updating relevant policies and procedures; tracking and monitoring examination processes for staffing examinations and producing examination products; and finalizing its examiner commissioning program.

It would appear that the CFPB is already taking steps to improve the efficiency of its program. In a response included in the report, Steven Antonakes, deputy director of the CFPB, explains that the agency has achieved a ‘substantial reduction’ in the number of outstanding examination reports.

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